In the Forefront
At the 35. FILMSCHOOLFEST MUNICH emerging filmmakers from 21 countries prove to be far-sighted in their focus on current events around the world
These young filmmakers are focusing on controversial topics ranging from refugees to the financial crisis, as the program of the 35. Filmschoolfest shows. From the 15th to the 21th of November, film students from around the world will be presenting their latest short films. “This new generation of directors is way ahead of the mainstream,” commented festival director Diana Iljine. “They are future-oriented and deal with issues such as political asylum and cultural integration and not just since the most recent developments. But also in terms of style and technical expertise, the films are innovative and very professional.”
The two Somali refugees move almost invisibly as if they were lost between two worlds in the Serbian film “If I Had It My Way I Would Never Leave” by Marko Grba Singh. The characters take shelter in a deserted house on the Serbian-Rumanian border and seem trapped in a no man’s land. Lisa Gerig from Switzerland deals with detainees in a deportation center at the Zurich airport in “Conversation Over The Fence” (“Zaungespräche”). The people who await deportation here are those who never arrived at their destinations. Although many of them have been in Switzerland for months, they have never set foot outside this facility.
Do Do from Myanmar lives in his dreamland, the Netherlands, but gets into trouble with the Dutch authorities because he hits his children. The documentary “Into My Dreamland” by Mai Seng Kinraw, from Myanmar herself, was a project of hers at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. Zora Rux’ “Safe Space” (dffb Berlin) also deals with culture clash. In a Berlin protest camp, refugees and local volunteers have joined forces to demonstrate against European refugee policies. After an incident of sexual assault involving a German and an African, the group tries to analyze what happened and to find a solution.
Despite countless difficulties, French-Greek director dares an optimistic prognosis with her film diary “Archipelagos, Naked Granites” in which she explores the various thoughts of young people in Athens regarding their difficult political and social situation.
The animated films in this year’s program supply numerous imaginative and humorous perspectives. Three from the Tokyo University of the Arts – “I’m Here”, “Missing You” and “Fox Fears” – explore the possibilities of the medium and the art of drawing. “A Documentary Film” (“Dokument”) by Polish comic book illustrator and filmmaker Marcin Podolec finds common ground in the documentary and animation genres. “Lure” and “Whole” are stop-motion films from the Technical University of Nuremberg that take surprising looks, each in its own way, at the deepest recesses of the human soul.
The 35. Munich International Festival of Film Schools opens on November 15th with a gala at the Munich University of Television and Film. The official competition begins November 16th in the Munich film museum. Roughly 60 young filmmakers from 20 countries will be on hand to present their films in person. The organizers of Kino Asyl and various asylum seekers in Munich will also be guests of the Filmschoolfest. The film festival Kino Asyl (December 6 – 9) is being held by young refugees and the Medienzentrum München des JFF (Jugend Film Fernsehen e. V.).